I'm Reclaiming and Simplifying My Website (New Website Design)
2022-11-10 -  8:25
You may have noticed that my website looks considerably different from what it did even a week ago. I decided to change up my website's design considerably and go for a "text first" inspired static site experience. To do this, I created a HTTP+Gemini server called Bergelmir, the source code of which can be found in the link below. My website is now currently simultaneously a website and a Gemini capsule. Both the web server and the gemini capsule also have built-in Tor hidden service support!
Gemini is a protocol, much like HTTP is a protocol, that was created in 2019 to distribute arbitrary files and serve lightweight hypertext files that can link to other files. Put more simply, it's similar to "the web" or the gopher protocol. The thing that makes Gemini different though is how text oriented and simple these hypertext files are by default compared to HTML files.
Here is what this site looks like in the Amfora Gemini browser (terminal based browser)
And this is what this site looks like in Firefox
Why Use That?
The design features of Gemini pushing for a text oriented experience is very appealing to me, as text is incredibly cheap in terms of storage and bandwidth. A huge inspiration to me in terms of simplicity and design was the solar powered version of the LOW<-TECH MAGAZINE, which runs off of a Raspberry Pi powered by a solar panel. The link to that website can be found below.
Reclaiming My Website
Your web browser is expected to just run arbitrary code that the web server throws at it. In the vast majority of cases, the people who run the web servers don't even know what arbitrary code is being run on their users' browsers. Have you seen how huge and unwieldy a Wordpress blog page is? It's madness!
The HTTP version of this site will use whatever the default sans-serif, serif, and monospace fonts are on the computer viewing this site, which shrinks the website considerably, as fonts don't need to be temporarily downloaded by the web browser. Information comes first for both the Gemini and HTTP versions of this site. I want to share information and I hope you want to meet me in the middle by reading this information.
I would like to write more, and setting my website up this way will make it easier for me to write more, as writing Gemtext files are very straight forward compared to HTML. It's also harder to mess up formatting compared to HTML. Gemtext files essentially look like what the final content looks like, where a web browser hides a LOT of information in terms of tags of an HTML file.